I was raised to the sounds of Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder echoing throughout my household. Both artists’ music have changed the lives of many over the past few decades, and vocally are unmatched. But there is one thing that sets their musical prowess far above the majority of other R&B and soul artist that also occupy these genre: their ability to express themselves not just with through their voices, but with lyrics.
If you listen to the lyrical content of the majority of songs come on popular radio stations there is a trend: overall terrible lyrical meaning and content. But one artist who goes by the name of Frank Ocean seems to have broken this unfortunate trend. His chilling falsetto, vivid descriptions and the variety of topics he covers have let him create types of songs that haven’t been seen in recent years. Nostalgia Ultra (his first mix tape) and Channel Orange (his first studio album) have both been received well by all critics and he has gained respect from all stretches of the music industry.
Ocean’s ability to wear all of his feelings on his sleeve, regardless of what the topic is, has helped him start a following of fans that is exponentially growing. Whether it be telling a story about a girlfriend in the song “Novocain” to speaking about his life growing up in a rich family without much family presence in “Super Rich Kids” and “Sweet Life” or maybe in “Crack Rock,” a song about his family member who has fought addiction, he always gets his point across well.
His best song I have to say is “Thinking Bout You,” the basic yet very deep lyrics of the chorus and the catchy, thought-provoking verses gets me every time. Frank Ocean is bringing lyrical talent to the music industry that hasn’t seen them in years, and hopefully he can continue to produce on such a high level for years to come.